Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World by Abigail Reynolds

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the WorldMr Fitzwilliam Darcy:  The Last Man in the World by Abigail Reynolds 
2010, 248 pages

Imagine that instead of a reverberating refusal, Elizabeth Bennet was forced to accept Mr Darcy's first proposal, and finds herself engaged to a man she despises. This is the premise in Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy:  The Last Man in the World, where, after proposing to Elizabeth, Mr Darcy immediately kisses her, and when they are interrupted by by Colonel Fitzwilliam, Elizabeth is faced with the choice of refusing and ruining herself and her sisters' chances at marriage, or accepting Mr Darcy's proposal.

I picked this book up because I thought the premise sounded interesting. Instead of following Elizabeth and Mr Darcy after their marriage like so many other Austen spinoffs I've seen, this one pushes them together into marriage prematurely. I was definitely pulled in by the story, and finished this book within a few hours. The characterization of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy was very true to their characters in Pride and Prejudice, and I enjoyed seeing these characters again.

However, I have to say that on the whole I was disappointed by this book. Maybe it's a case of having expectations set too high, but I often found myself groaning as the plot unraveled. I thought that the development of the relationship between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy was abrupt and uneven - not enough development in some places, while in others it felt like both characters were being intentionally stupid, or else the plot seemed a little too convenient and cliched. 

Despite all of these frustrations, I did race through the story, so I can say that it held my attention and kept me invested in the developing relationship between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy. Overall, I have lukewarm feelings toward this book, and would only recommend it if you're looking for an Austen sequel to read.

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. Aside from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I have never picked up an "Austen Redux" title. The premise does sound interesting, though.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There are a lot of books of this nature lately. I have not read them but they seem to be fun reads. I did enjoy your review Dana.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm picky with Austen spin offs, I think alot of them are hit or miss.
    Great, honest review :)
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmmm...I've been disappointed by most Austen spin-offs so far so I don't think I'll try this. Have you tried the Jane Austen mysteries by Stephanie Barron? They're not bad...well-written and light. Good holiday reads.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wonder how many spin-offs from the Austen books are there, but I seriously feel that I better read the original classics soon, so that I can read these spin-offs! Nice review!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I find it interesting how so many authors write books based on these classics! Too bad this one didn't measure up, though.

    Emidy
    Une Parole

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the honest review Dana! I have also heard disappointing things about this book from other reviewers. I am glad it was a quick read for you though :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. When it comes to Pride and Prejudice sequels or spin offs I usually don't enjoy them. I do like modernizations but I have yet to come across one with the original characters that I like. I was thinking of reading this for the Jane Austen challenge but I think I will have to pass. Thanks for your review!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I thought this premise sounded pretty intiguing, too, but I am very skeptical of these Austen-esques and so I generally avoid them. Alas, thansk to your review I think I'll be avoiding this one as well. They just really can never live up, can they? But we'll always have Jane!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I enjoyed the book, though it definitely wasn't the best Austen spinoff I've read. These kinds of books are my guilty pleasure, though.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

    ReplyDelete
  11. Appreciated your review! All of these Austen spin-offs are making me want to go back and re-read the originals. Think I'll skip this one and pick up P&P instead.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I do end up reading all the Austen sequels eventually and they never live up to the original but I'm too addicted to quit, even if I have a suspicion I'll be disappointed. Sorry that was the case for you with this one.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I haven't read any of the sequels but they do seem to have quite a following. Since its been a long time since I read P&P I have decided to read that again before I head into the sequels!

    Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete